New travel rules to make holidays to three Brit-loved hotspots in Spain much easier

BRITISH travellers visiting three Spanish hotspots will soon enjoy a much smoother airport experience than they might be used to.

New technology at three of Spain‘s busiest airports is expected to fast-track passengers’ journeys through security.

New technology at three of Spain's busiest airports is hoped to fast-track passenger progress


New technology at three of Spain’s busiest airports is hoped to fast-track passenger progressCredit: Getty
Tourists will no longer have to remove liquids and electronics from their hand luggage at security


Tourists will no longer have to remove liquids and electronics from their hand luggage at securityCredit: Getty

It will no longer be necessary for tourists to remove liquids and electronics from their hand luggage at the security checkpoints in Madrid, Barcelona, and Palma airports.

More than 15 million Britons visited Spain in 2022, making it the UK’s favourite holiday destination.

Tourists flying out of Adolfo Suarez Madrid-Barajas, Josep Tarradellas Barcelona-El Prat, and Palma de Mallorca airports will notice the change come into effect sometime this year, according to Spanish news outlets, although an exact date has not been provided.

Airport operator Aena said the new tech will cut down queues and wait times during the busy summer season.

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Experts at SGM Legal Spain explained that the imminent changes involve new 3D scanners and enhanced technology that can accurately detect everything inside bags in greater detail.

They added: “In addition to the elimination of the restriction of liquids with the new scanners, Aena is also preparing for improvements in the control of hold luggage, the automation of hand luggage management and the implementation of new biometric control systems.”

Major UK airports including Gatwick, Heathrow, and Manchester will also be getting new security scanners – but not by the Government’s June deadline – while smaller ones such as London City and Teesside already have the tech and have ditched the 100ml liquids rule.

Birmingham Airport is anticipated to have its new scanners working by June; travellers will need to continue removing all liquids, aerosols, gels, and laptops from their hand luggage until then.

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It is currently a requirement that liquids up to 100ml go through security in clear plastic bags.

The director of Mallorca’s Palma Airport, Tomás Melgar, said in 2022: “The airport will be equipped with more modern technology in terms of safety and quality, meaning passengers will not have to remove items from their hand luggage, including liquids or electronic devices, such as computers.”

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The scrapping of the strict hand luggage rules was first announced in 2022, with all UK airports to follow suit this year.

Under the new rules, Brits do not have to follow strict 100ml liquid rules.

They can also take more than one small plastic bag in their hand luggage, and keep the bags in their luggage at security.

Current UK airport rules for liquids

THERE are currently a number of restrictions on the amount of liquids that you can take in your hand luggage through UK airports.

If you do take liquids in your hand luggage, although the UK Government advises packing liquids in your hold baggage where possible, know that:

  • containers must hold no more than 100ml
  • containers must be in a single, transparent, resealable plastic bag, which holds no more than a litre and measures approximately 20cm x 20cm
  • contents must fit comfortably inside the bag so it can be sealed
  • the bag must not be knotted or tied at the top
  • you’re limited to 1 plastic bag per person
  • you must show the bag at the airport security point

Liquids in containers larger than 100ml generally cannot go through security, even if the container is only part-full, except when they are for essential medical purposes, for special dietary requirements, or they contain baby food or baby milk – or, potentially, when they were purchased at an airport or on a plane.

Teesside Airport was one of the first to scrap the liquid rules last year, followed by London City Airport in April.

Meanwhile, it was revealed Gatwick Airport would undergo a £250million renovation, including a new concourse and more escalators at Gatwick’s train station, amid fears of overcrowding.

Items you can’t bring in your hand luggage

YOU cannot take any of these items as hand luggage, or in the hold.

Chemicals and toxic substances

  • oxidisers and organic peroxides, including bleach and car body repair kits
  • acids and alkalis (for example spillable ‘wet’ batteries)
  • corrosives or bleaching agents (including mercury and chlorine)
  • vehicle batteries and fuel systems
  • self defence or disabling sprays (for example mace, pepper spray)
  • radioactive materials (including medicinal or commercial isotopes)
  • poisons or toxic substances (for example rat poison)
  • biological hazards (for example infected blood, bacteria, viruses)
  • materials that could spontaneously combust (burst into flames)
  • fire extinguishers


  • blasting caps
  • detonators and fuses
  • imitation explosive devices (including replica or model guns)
  • mines, grenades, and other explosive military stores
  • fireworks and pyrotechnics
  • smoke canisters
  • smoke cartridges
  • dynamite
  • gunpowder
  • plastic explosives (including black powder and percussion caps)
  • flares
  • hand grenades
  • gun cigarette lighters